Floating Assistants

David Nolden zwabel at googlemail.com
Tue Nov 9 14:38:47 UTC 2010

2010/11/9 Olivier JG <olivier.jg at gmail.com>:
> On 11/09/2010 07:15 PM, David Nolden wrote:
>> This look interesting. The question is how well it works together with
>> code-completion, will the float appear in a position that doesn't conflict
>> with the completion-widget? Also it must be carefully placed so that it
>> doesn't interfere with the users work. The good thing about the assistants
>> at the bottom is that you can easily ignore them.
> I made sure the placement is out-of-the-way enough, but it's true that it
> may interfere with code-completion. The current assistants don't pop up in a
> context where you'd want code-completion I believe, but that's more of a
> coincidence than something to count on. Hrm...
>> Regarding the "ignoring": Maybe it would be nice if the assistant system
>> could remember whether the assistant was hidden, and from then on only show
>> a mini-float somewhere at the border of the editor, which can be restored
>> using alt-0.
> That would certainly be good, though I'd prefer to think about that after
> this is set.
The problem is that, if we move the assistants more into the focus of
the user, we should also at the same time consider how the user could
get them out of the way. We shouldn't push them on the user, because
sometimes the assistants may even be wrong, and anyway the user might
get annoyed.

>> The other question is how well all the different assistants could deal
>> with such a low amount of shown information. Is the widget flexible enough
>> to show larger texts (maybe aligning them vertically rather than
>> horizontally)?
> One of the ideas in doing this was to simplify the information shown right
> off, I think the tooltips are adequate for when the user wants to see
> exactly what will happen. Don't you think?
Tooltips require the mouse, and the switch between mouse/keyboard is
quite annoying. Maybe we could have 3 assistant-modes:
- Full: Vertical layout, with the short action-description and button
on the left, and the long description on the right.
- Short: Horizontal layout, with only short action-description buttons
and full description in the tooltips (what you showed)
- Hidden: Just a little light-bulbish thing at the side

And we could use "ALT +" and "ALT -" (together with according buttons)
to reduce/increase the amount of info. Then on automatic popups we
should use "Short" or "Hidden" mode, depending what the user used
last. What do you think?

Greetings, David

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